Sad loss of Margate artist and disability activist Lizzy Rose

Lizzy Rose with her Arrangement at Crate

By Dan Thompson

Much-loved Margate artist and disability activist Lizzy Rose has passed away, after a lifelong fight with Crohns Disease.

Born in 1988, Lizzy was well-known locally and was building a national reputation with her work. She trained at Central Saint Martins in London, before working with LIMBO arts in Margate from 2012-15 as Assistant Curator alongside artists Matthew de Pulford and Paul Hazelton.

In 2016, she became part of the programming team at CRATE, and she was an Associate at Open School East in 2018. Lizzy showed work as part of Art In Romney Marsh, Whitstable Satellite, and Margate Now. She currently has a print in The Open at Turner Contemporary, selected by the Turner Contemporary Access Group.

Nationally, Lizzy was known for her work as a disabled artist and her campaigning for fairer working conditions for disabled artists will form a lasting legacy.

Lizzy lived with the immune condition Crohns disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease, and intestinal failure.

In 2014, Lizzy challenged Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in the High Court. She made a case against a decision to refuse NHS funding to freeze her eggs, when an imminent bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy treatment would leave her infertile. Although she lost the case, the judge ruled that the CCG “failed properly to address” recommendations made by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) on when funding should be offered.

In 2019, Lizzy spent the majority of the year in hospital but continued working from her hospital bed, and in 2020 she followed government advice to shield during the pandemic. She documented her wait for an experimental Small Bowel Transplant which had been delayed due to the pandemic, and her life shielding, on Instagram.

In January this year, her beloved stepfather Billy died. Lizzy said at the time, “He taught me maths and let me use his video cameras when I was little to put on plays with my friends and film them. He was always up for learning something new and most importantly helping you follow your passions without judgement. I was lucky to have him as a step parent.”

Lizzy is survived by her mother Christine and her dog Margot, who had brought her huge joy during lockdown.